well, if you're looking for excitement, you're not gonna find it here...
but what we do have is pickles. and cucumbers. and more cucumbers.
these buggers just spring up overnight. actually quicker than overnight. and they hide. they make you believe that you're losing it when you check the whole patch in the morning, pick everything that's ready, go back in the evening & find a monster sized cucumber. i mean, nasty big...if there is such a thing.
and they are only surpassed by their friendly neighbor the zucchini. once again, those things hide on you and before you know it, you have a monster that no one is going to use for anything except the compost pile.
but i'm getting carried away.
here are some of my pickles. bread & butter on the left, dill on the right.
bread & butter pickles
4 quarts sliced medium cucumbers
8 sliced medium white onions
1/3 c. pickling salt
3 cloves garlic, halved
5 c. sugar
3 c. cider vinegar
2 Tbs. mustard seed
1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 1/2 tsp. celery seed
in large bowl, combine cucumbers, onions, salt & garlic. stir in a large amount of ice. let stand 3 hours; drain well. remove garlic. in large kettle, combine sugar, vinegar, mustard seed, turmeric, and celery seed. add drained pickles & onions. bring to boiling. pack cucumber mixture & liquid into hot, sterilized pint jars, leaving a 1/2" headspace. adjust lids. process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. makes 8 pints. (80 servings)
*i follow this recipe pretty much exactly, except maybe not using as much onion. think this year i only used 5-6. kind of guage it on the size of the onions. also, i use yellow onions if i don't have white ones on hand.
8 lbs. 4-5" long pickling cucumbers (around 40 is enough for this recipe)
7 garlic cloves, cut in half
14 med. size heads of fresh dill
14 sprigs from fresh dill
4 c. white vinegar
12 c. water
2/3 c. pickling salt
place clean cucumbers in tub of ice water for at least 2 hrs, no more than 8 hrs. get 14 pint jars ready. combine vinegar, water & salt over med-high heat to boiling or salt is dissolved. place a half of garlic, head & sprig of dill in bottom of each jar. pack jars with cucumbers, add hot brine leaving at least 1/4" headspace. seal jars & process in boiling water bath 10 mins. store at least 8 wks before eating. should keep 2 yrs if kept cool & dry.
*i wrote this for pint jars. this would also be the correct amount for 7 quart jars. actually, the brine will make enough for a bit more, but that never works for me as my canners all hold either 7 pints or 7 quarts. the brine makes for an extra quart or 2 extra pints. quarts would process 15 mins.
now, go & pickle till your heart's content!